Optimist – Clayton Richer
The Toronto Blue Jays have one of the deepest rotations in all of the majors; there are very few rotations that possess the consistency, one through five, that the Blue Jays are equipped with. If healthy the Blue Jays strength and hopes for a successful 2017 campaign lies within the rotation.
Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro went on the record a few weeks back on the Jeff Blair show expressing his concern should the Jays rotation run into a long-term injury with one of their starters.
Shapiro stated the following: “While we do have guys capable of filling in for two, three, four starts, I’m not sure at (triple-A) Buffalo as we start the season we’re going to have a guy we feel can hop into the rotation and pitch half a year in our rotation and sustain a championship level of starting pitching performance.”
However, I am not sure how many teams throughout the league are stacked on the depth chart once past the fifth starter. The Blue Jays have a very competent weapon in Mat Latos who has a proven track record at the major league level. Although Latos is not the talent he once was, he is still very much capable of holding down the fifth spot on a number of major league rotations.
As well Casey Lawrence is poised the see major league action this season and may have actually surpassed Latos on the depth chart after a very successful spring training. Lawrence is the opening day starter for the Bisons and could force his way into the conversation with a successful start to the season.
"“While we do have guys capable of filling in for two, three, four starts, I’m not sure at (triple-A) Buffalo as we start the season we’re going to have a guy we feel can hop into the rotation and pitch half a year in our rotation and sustain a championship level of starting pitching performance.”"
I also really like the potential Mike Bolsinger brings to that table if the Jays decide to stretch him out now that he has cleared waivers. Bolsinger had a very successful 2015 season with the Dodgers where he put up a 3.62 ERA in 21 starts.
Furthermore, injured hurler T.J. House has major league experience as a starter in 2014 with the Cleveland Indians where he put up a 3.35 ERA in 18 starts for the Tribe.
As well, heralded rookie Sean Reid-Foley could be afforded an opportunity if he presents well in the first few months of the season down on the farm.
So yes, an injury to starting rotation is never ideal, but if the unfortunate does occur, there will be no need to wave the proverbial white flag on the season as the Jays have some arms who could do the job if afforded the opportunity.